Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Liam smashed me at chess yesterday. Usually he wins, but we fight it out to a couple of bedraggled pawns and maybe a rook or bishop. This time he checkmated me unexpectedly right in the middle of the game. Sigh…

Then we started a game of Monopoly. The neat thing about life nowadays is that the little ones can actually play these simple games. They have played UNO, Swap and now Monopoly alongside us. This is a first in our history. Sort of like when they learned to climb stairs on their own, it is a seemingly small difference that makes a huge difference in our quality of life. Formerly, they were frustrated because everyone’s attention was on something that they couldn’t do — so they would turn their energy towards wreaking havoc.

Monopoly’s actually a great learning game for kids about Paddy’s age… the money, the moving pieces, the buying. Just perfect.

The little boys are getting up to speed on T ball. Paddy actually did some good plays as a left and center fields. It is hilarious to watch these tiny kids play ball. Yesterday the child from the other team, who was on second base, tried to field his teammate’s ball. His coaches were shouting, “Run to third, run to third, run to third. OK, now…. give that ball to them.” We were sitting right next to the action. That was a memorable moment. I was glad yesterday that we have the coaches we do — they are our local storeowners and have a really good handle on how to work with little kids. The other team’s coaches were micromanaging and nagging too much, and their players were tuning them out or sometimes, actively defying them. There is an effective “coaching style” that is related to, but distinct from, good parenting. As parents Kevin and I are usually to always in control but as coaches, we would have to learn that bracing kindly firmness that the coaches employ with success.

I took Aidan down behind the house yesterday and he found a new walk alongside the “meadow”. It was a nice little trail that led out towards the lower part of our road. I didn’t bring my camera but wished I had. Last year at this time the seasonal creek was in full flow. This year it was dry and covered over with grass. There just wasn’t enough snow to make a decent run-off.

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